Thursday, November 08, 2012

Still reindeer-ing

Boy! I thought I was going to finish the reindeer last week during the storm.  Fortunately, for us the storm wasn't too bad here.  After being without power for 10 days after last year's storm, we were better prepared for the huge storm last week and this week's nor'easter.  We've shared what supplies we could with folks who need them far more than we do.  Our generator is better-traveled than we are lately.

Here's what little progress I did make on Magic Reindeer.  I still hope to finish it soon!  Thank goodness I stitched it over one or it would have been huge!  I know I should have digested the information on the chart a little more before starting.  For some reason I was picturing a cute little piece like the JBW designs.

Rather than finishing this as an ornament (because it would be huge), I think I will finish this as a pillow front.

I still want to stitch Nora Corbett's reindeer on either a mantle scarf or a treeskirt.  Clearly, that won't happen for this year but I still haven't decided which project to make. I think I'll have to make a model out of  paper for each project and see which one works better.  Stay tuned.

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reindeer Plan

We fared well through the storm.  We didn't even lose power.  Such a huge difference from the 10 days without power last year.

The pictures that we've seen and the stories that we've heard about people on the shore are heartbreaking.  I can't imagine what those people are going through.

So today is the last day of my Reindeer month and my reindeer is not done.  But I am still forging ahead with my reindeer plans.  I will finish the Magic Reindeer - hopefully this week.

My other reindeer plans involve the Christmas Eve Couriers from Nora Corbett.  My mantle is about 74" wide.  Each reindeer is about 5" wide and there are 8 tiny reindeer - actually nine including Rudolph.  Then there is Santa's Sleigh which is also 5" wide.  So, I will (eventually) have 10 5" wide pieces.   So the question is - Do I make a single long mantle scarf or do I go with my original plan and create individual little pennant shaped pieces for each reindeer - minus Rudolph - and the sleigh and separate them by a little bit?

Or - if I can't make that work I could go with a tree skirt.  Then I could stitch each of them on a wedge-shaped piece of linen and construct the circle.  Then I could even string some bling between each of them like reins.  Has anyone seen a finished tree skirt or mantle scarf with Nora's Christmas Eve Couriers?  I need to decide which route to take before I start so I make sure to have enough linen.

Decisions, decisions...

Prayers for those recovering from Sandy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

All prepared - mostly

Well the hatches are battened down and the gas cans are full.  It is definitely windy and quite dreary looking outside.  We live at the top of a good-sized hill in the foothills here so flooding in the house shouldn't really be a concern.  Flooded roads and downed trees in the area would be a concern.  We're really worried about the folks on the coast - both Connecticut and New Jersey as well as nearly all of the folks on Long Island.  And I can't even imagine trying to evacuate from a big city like NYC.

We have milk and cereal and canned soup.  I have projects to stitch and books to read.  The only thing that iIwanted to do and didn't quite get done is the laundry.  Last year for "Snowtober", which struck on a Saturday, lots of people were doing their weekend chores when the power went out which means lots of people had laundry in their washing machines.  A number of friends warned me after that storm that the front-loading washer that I want is not a good idea.  They had their clothes fermenting in the washer for 10 days until the power came back on.  By then the clothes were ruined and they still haven't been able to get the smell out of the washer - and it's been a whole year.   My washer is still the old top-loader - so I could pull the clothes out without the water pouring out if the power goes out.  But I'm pretty sure I would be tempting fate if I even started the washer.

On the positive side of the storm, the kids are both sick so they would have missed school anyway.  And, we are fast approaching the end of my reindeer month so I better stitch fast while I have light.  I had hoped to finish 2 reindeer designs but it looks like I will barely finish 1.  Here's my progress as of last week on that reindeer.  Now you can begin to tell that it is a reindeer without stretching your imagination quite so far.

I'm off to ponder the laundry a bit more, back up all of the computers and hunker down with my stitching.  

Prayers for all of those who are in the path of this storm.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reindeer Month progress

Reindeer month is half over and I don't have nearly as much progress as I would like.
You still really have to use your imagination.  It's a lot like looking for constellations.  Those drawings where the details are all filled in somehow always lead to disappointment when you find out that Orion is really just 7 stars.  In this case, I am going to keep going and fill in those details and head-off that disappointment.   You will see a reindeer - I promise.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happiness - a new Mirabilia release

The newest Mirabilia design is out and it is a big design.  Sleeping Princess is beautiful.  Lots of beads.  Not too much metallic thread - not that I mind regular metallic braids.  I'm not a fan of blending filament though.  The colors in this design are beautiful.  I really like this one.  I'm sure once we see a better/bigger picture of the model or a stitcher's progress it will be even more stunning.

Happy Stitching.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reindeer Month

I think this is going to be reindeer month.  And I think it will probably spill into next month.

I looked at all of the designs that I had kitted and packed up and lo and behold they are all reindeer.  Here's the first one.  You have to use your imagination a bit.

Even stitching over one, this looks like it will be a quick stitch.  Then I'll move on to my other reindeer - there are 10 in my stitching bag!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Great display for ornaments

Check out this tree.  It is lit with LED lights and stands about 6 feet tall and you can use it indoors or outdoors.  Wouldn't it make a great display for cross-stitched ornaments?  Assuming you use it indoors, of course.
This one is from Amazon but I first found an LED tree at Costco which is where I got the idea.  The one that I ordered online won't be here for a few weeks so hopefully I'll have some ornaments finished before it arrives.

Off I go to stitch ornaments.

Happy Stitching.


Sunday, September 30, 2012


Just a quick post because I really don't have anything of my own to share.  If you happen to be looking for inspiration - check out LisaUT's photobucket.  She has some of the most beautiful stitching - many (if not most) of the Mirabilia Designs stitched beautifully as well as some Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum designs and others.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All pinned and ready to go

It raining and windy today.  Its actually a nice change of pace.

I worked on pinning Whoo's There.  He's all pinned and ready to lace up.

I just need to find a good trim and he'll be all set.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Forest for the Trees or Squirrel for the Nuts

So can you see the forest for the trees - or in this case, the squirrel for the nuts?  You might have to squint and cross your eyes a bit.  Oh - and imagine the front part of him too (which is currently missing).  This is French Country Squirrel from JBW Designs.  Like the other French Country designs it is made up of a bunch of small motifs. In this case there are a bunch of autumnal designs - the tiny squirrel is especially cute.

The weather here has been just perfect.  It has been very dry and crisp.  And - the leaves are starting to change.  Thank goodness.  I was beginning to worry that we might have a fall and winter like last year.  I don't think I could handle another Snowtober.

When picking up our CSA share at the farm last week I was chatting with a friend.  It is a small farm with a small dirt parking lot.  We were amazed at the trouble people were having driving through the parking lot because they were having to dodge the crazy squirrels and chipmunks.  We were joking around about it when the farmer walked by and asked - "Didn't we chat about the chipmunks last year?".  We had chatted about the chipmunks last year because they kept eating my cherry tomatoes.

So we all sat down and continued our chat while eating some the best apples ever.  Russell, our favorite farmer, pointed out that it was very late in the season when I was complaining about the chipmunks - late September.  The squirrels and chipmunks that we were watching in the parking lot and scampering over the stone walls were all carrying nuts or one kind or another.  Russell pointed out that the squirrels should be gathering nuts at this time of the year.  Last year the squirrels were still eating fruit (my tomatoes) at the end of September.  They hadn't switched over to nuts to prepare for the winter.  In hindsight, its pretty clear that the squirrels knew we weren't going to have a real winter.   So, if we are going to learn anything from that, I would say we're going to have a humdinger of a winter this year.  I haven't seen the squirrels gathering nuts this frantically in years.

With all that in mind, I am stocking up on projects.  I found the most gorgeous sweater pattern on Ravelry - called Fireside Sweater designed by Amber Allison.  I haven't knit anything that intricate in quite a while - but it is really beautiful.  That could very well take me all winter without doing any other projects but I fully expect to be stitching as well.  Now I am choosing my stitching projects for autumn and winter.  It is certainly easier now that so many of the fabrics that had been back-ordered for months are available again.  I am trying to decide between a big project or maybe a bunch of smaller ones.  Either way - I'm not planning anything on fabric that is very dark just in case we lose power for great lengths of time again.  It is brutal trying to see that dark linen with only a few light bulbs running on a generator.  And, who knows, we might be needing that generator again.  I'll have to see what I can come up with.

Happy Stitching everyone!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Goodbye Summer

Goodbye summer. Even though our kids were among the last to go back school (at least for the public schools around here), I still wasn't really ready to call it quits on summer vacation. But, now it is pretty quiet around here and it looks like it is going to be cool outside all week and I guess I have to accept that summer is done.

 I have really no new stitching to show. For the last two weeks of summer we had a lovely visit from my Mom and we kept really busy. One of the highlights of her visit was a trip to New York City. Boy did we cram a whole lot into just a couple of days - Grand Central Station, American Museum of Natural History, Empire State Building, New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park - and more. I can't remember the last time my feet were that tired. We all had a great time though - especially the boys.

 My finishing month didn't really qualify as a finishing month. Other than my Moonlit Kitties, nothing was completely finished. I tried mounting my dragonly twice - neither method really worked. At this point, I'm not sure I am going to be able to frame it. I'm open to other ideas for finishing it. Both mounting attempts took a long time and there was the time required to undo my first attempt. My second attempt still needs undoing.

 I still have Whoo's There to finish but that should be easier. Here's a pic of Whoo's There waiting for the iron to warm up.  (Please excuse the poor photo - my phone takes better pics than my camera.)
I wish I had used Cocoa Bean or Tangerine Crescent Colours floss for the brown or orange.  Then I could have used the coordinating rick-rack which would have been really cool.  But - I didn't think of that until it was done.  I do plan to stitch one of the JBW Designs Christmas trees with Poblano Pepper floss so that I can use the rick-rack when I finish it into an ornament.  

I hope everyone has had a lovely summer and Welcome Fall!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Poppies biscornu finished!

I finally finished my Poppies Biscornu.  I rather like the way it came out.  It doesn't have a poppy button in the center yet.  I'll make that the next time I take out the polymer clay.

As I predicted, I didn't love stitching with the DMC metallic.  It wasn't awful but I wouldn't call it fun either.
Poppy Biscornu from Faby Reilly
Poppy Biscornu from Faby Reilly
I still need to massage around the fiberfill to even out the corners a bit.  But, otherwise, it's a finish!

Now - the big dilemma.  Do I really have to wait until next month to start August Peridot Fairy since I designated August as a finish month?  She is absolutely gorgeous and I want to stitch her even more than Dressmaker's Daughter (which has a lot more sparkle).  Of course, I still have to finish lacing my dragonfly and finish the cording for my Boo Club banner - but when it comes to actual stitching...

Here's August Peridot Fairy from Mirabilia Designs if you haven't seen it yet.
August Peridot Fairy from Mirabilia Designs
I hope everyone is enjoying their back-to-school preparations.  
Happy Stitching!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Well - it counts (barely)

So finishing the stitching on my Poppy biscornu is taking longer than I expected.  Somehow I didn't catch that the stitching is over one with two plies of floss.  Not tough but taking longer than I expected.  It does look nice though.

I tried a few things regarding my Emerald Dragonfly.  I read Jill Rensel's blog where she talked about how she beautifully frames beautiful cross stitch.  (I really recommend that you check out her blog for incredible inspiration.)  I think I have an idea how to go about lacing it and framing it now.

But - since I didn't actually finish anything this weekend - I took the easy way out.  I popped my Moonlit Kitties into its frame.  There!  A finish!

Happy Stitching.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Beaded and backstitched

I tend to forget that I really like beading.  And, fortunately, I am not one of the many people who truly detest backstitching.  So the little progress I made on my Poppy Biscornu was quite enjoyable.
I still have to do the stitching with the DMC metallic gold - which I do not find particularly enjoyable.  But then the top of the biscornu will be finished.  The back has very little stitching.  I still need to make the little poppy button from polymer clay - but I think that will be fun. 

Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Argh! Poor planning or no planning at all?

As part of my finishing month I pulled out Emerald Dragonfly.  The design is by Nora Corbett and she released it a few years ago.  I love the metallic threads and beads - I think this was the first time I used Magnifica beads so maybe it was more than just a few years ago.

So, I planned to lace it and frame it this week.  Here's where the problem comes in.
Yep, that would be the corner cut off the bottom of the fabric.  I'm not sure when that happened.  I suppose it could have happened after the stitching but I can't imagine how.  Which leaves either poor planning or complete lack of planning.

You'll also notice that it is cut in just far enough from the side to go beyond the left end of the stitching.  ARGH!  That leaves a grand total of 1 1/2" at the bottom margin between the lower end of the stitching and the cut.  So, I'm off to troll about for solutions to the "not enough fabric to frame" problem.

Finishing month was supposed to be a breeze - a relaxing month of stitching, lacing and sewing.

Heavy sigh---

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Finishing month

It sure feels like August - hot and humid.  The weather forecast keeps saying "Expect thunderstorms".  Clearly, I need to adjust my expectations because we have not had a drop of rain since last Sunday and every day the forecast has said "Expect thunderstorms".  So, I think I'll stay inside and stitch - or sew.  I have decided that this month will be "finishing month".  I have a number of items that I have finished cross stitching and haven't "finished" either into a functional or decorative item or framed.  Then I also have a few BAPs - that are UFOs.  And a few new projects.  I've decided that anything I have actually started qualifies for finishing month.

So - in no particular order - here they are.
Poppy biscornu from Faby Reilly.  I have the back started and the front just needs beads and backstitching.  The biscornu are easy to finish and I can easily do it even in front of the TV.

Boo Club from Lizzie Kate has been stitched for some time now.  I created the twisted cord a while ago but then I decided that I didn't really like the black and white cord.  I have a few different backing fabrics to decide between but the cording is really where I'm stuck.
Here we have French Country Owl from JBW Designs on top, then April Robin Button-Up Birdie from the Victoria Sampler.  Then I have Moonlit Kitties which is a Buttons and Beads kit from Mill Hill.  And under that I have Dizzy Busy Bees from Sweetheart Tree that I'm going to finish as a biscornu.
I've had Fairy Idyll as an Unfinished project for more than a year now. I really want to work on her.  I also still have Indian Summer Reflections from Chatelaine that I stopped working on when I ran out of black marlitt.  I did recently find some more of the discontinued thread so I want to get back to that design.  I really do love this mandala.

And, I recently started Shakespeare's Fairies and Dressmaker's Daughters.  I've got my work cut out for me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Poppies, poppies, poppies

As I mentioned earlier, I love what a designer can do with just 3 shades of red and 3 shades of green.  But now I have to admit that the beads really add a lot to this design - even more than the backstitching. At this point it's really easy to see the difference the beads and backstitching with one poppy done and the one awaiting its final dressing.

It is finally raining here.   We've needed this rain so badly - mostly for the plants but it's also really nice for a stitching day.  None of us feel obligated to be outside doing something because it is sunny and warm (hot).  I hope the Plains states get rain soon.  The pictures we've seen of drought stricken areas are heartbreaking.

Happy stitching!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Roses in the Rain

It is only the first week of June but the roses have been blooming for over a week.  I am hoping that we'll have a long enough summer that we might see another flush of bloom before the first frost.

These smell heavenly.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stitching in the Sun

We finally had some rain which took care of some of the pollen.  Today is beautiful - not too hot but the sun feels warm.  Here's my stitching chair outside.  What you can't get from the picture is the wonderful light breeze and the scent from the roses blooming in the yard.  This is bliss.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How cute is this!

This is Sandy The Summer Witch from Brooke's Books. She goes with Sadie Spring and Annie Autumn and she is definitely on my stitching list for this summer.
We really need a big thunderstorm. Not only because it would cool things off (it's 92F right now), but also because it might wash away some of the pollen.  It is absolutely amazing how much pollen is covering everything.  I really want to stitch outside but I'm afraid the pollen would stain anything that I bring outside with me.  

Off to do my rain dance.  You should see my thunder and lightning dance.  Actually, no, you probably shouldn't.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Trick or Treat and Taxes

It's that week - the last big push to get all the taxes filed.  People are grumpier than usual.  I don't see too many people this year with smiles on their faces showing that they will be getting an unanticipated refund.  I have seen a few looks of shock on faces showing that they will be writing some unanticipated checks.  It's really too bad because aside from paying huge sums of money to the government or being reminded of the huge sum of money you paid all year long, this is really a nice time of year.

While getting my camera ready for a quick trip, I realized that I have photos on my camera that I meant to post back in October.  I must have skipped over them when we experienced "Snowtober".

Here's a quick shot of my stitched Boo Club from Lizzie Kate.  This pic is clearly before ironing.  I think it is before the little buttons were added as well.  Over the next week or two I hope to put together the other pics and create a quick tutorial on finishing a bellpull/banner.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Home automation

So I've decided to automate my house.  Not in a creepy way like all those low-budget horror movies from the '80s.  Just in a minor way.

We have a Roomba which goes about its business vacuuming our family room 3 times a week.  It works pretty well except when someone leave wires on the floor from computers or earbuds or the like.  Other than wires, or a dead battery in a lighthouse, nothing really seems to stop "Rosie" the Roomba.

Now I want to automate the heat.  Actually I want to make the heat a little less automatic.  Since I don't have a schedule that is set in stone, having the heat kick up or down at the same time everyday doesn't always work.  So now we have a thermostat that I can control from my phone.  When I leave the house I set the heat down.  When I am almost home I kick the heat up.  So far it is working really well.

Now I would really like to automate vacuuming the stairs.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

My Poppies

Here's an update on my Faby-Reilly Poppy biscornu.  I just picked this up again last week.  I hope to have it done before the poppies should really bloom.  They will replace the real poppies that I would have in my garden if I could actually grow poppies.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Happy New Year!  

Still no stitching to show.  Way back at the beginning of November I injured a finger.  After many bandages, antibiotic and tetanus shots and many weeks of healing it is much better than before.  But strangely, it is still super sensitive.  So sensitive in fact that it hurts to have 32 ct linen move across my finger.  Holding the needle is very uncomfortable and as you can imagine, if I wear a band-aid while stitching the needle keeps slipping out of my fingers - very frustrating.  I am grateful that my fingertip has feeling because the doctor wasn’t entirely sure how well that would heal.  But this is a little too much.

So I have spent my allotted stitching time organizing my stash and surfing the internet for inspiration for when I go back to stitching.  A little while ago Nora Corbett released Merchant Mermaid.  As usual, some stitchers loved the mermaid in a commercial advertisement design and others hated it.  But, like most photographs of stitched models, I think the photo on the front of the chart doesn’t do this design justice.  Just looking at the material list tells me that she is just dripping with sparkle - she uses 9 different packages of beads from petite beads all the way up to pebble beads.  In addition to all those beads she is decorated with a number of glass roses
and amethyst crystals.  Not to mention that she uses 5 skeins of beautiful overdyed silks from Caron Collection.  How could she not be gorgeous?

Mirabilia Merchant Mermaid

I found Stitchitandie’s blog with her start on Merchant Mermaid and she really is beautiful.  Please visit her blog for a better look.  She is an incredible stitcher and her blog is just full of beautiful work and inspiration.

I am going to pull together the materials and do a floss toss and pick the perfect fabric.  Hopefully I’ll be able to stitch soon and it will be all ready and waiting for me.